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What To Do When You 'Run' Into a Deer on the Trails of Woodbury

Deer rampant in Woodbury! Oh my!

As you know from previous posts, I enjoy the trails of Woodbury quite a bit. A few times now, I've come across deer on those trails — especially when I'm over by Dancing Waters.

It's quite disconcerning to be jamming to Prince and then there's an 8-pointer standing in front of you.

Have others run across this in that area? I can't say I'm surprised. Stonemill Farms and Dancing Waters were formally corn and cow pastures — prime deer feeding areas.

So what does a human do when face-to-face with this wild beast? Well, first, they are just as scared as seeing you as you are of them. When I ran into that 8-pointer earlier, I took two steps toward it and poof! It bounced off in the woods. (Deer prance and bounce, never walk.)

But, just like the many geese we have in town, deer can be territorial, and if it's rut season (i.e. mating season) you could see a buck take a step toward you or even paw the ground. And it's getting to be high time for rut season in Minnesota right now. You can tell it's rut season when you see scraps and rubs on trees as the deer are shedding the velvet on their antlers. It's itchy stuff!

If you do run into a deer in rut season and you feel threatened, then you need to be loud i.e. yelling or banging on a tree by you with a large stick. Most likely any movement you do will scare off the deer.

And be careful driving on Settler's Ridge at dusk — prime deer playing time. I almost ran into two deer just last week on that road.

Curious if Woodbury allowed urban hunting, I called the Police and Public Safety Safety number 651-714-3794 and spoke to Janet. She was very nice to send me the most recent proposed draft for hunting access. (Note the words "draft" and "proposed.")

Lo and behold, there is hunting available by Manning Avenue. BUT you must ask for landowner permission. This is not public hunting.

Also, you must get a permit from Woodbury. See more on their site here: http://www.ci.woodbury.mn.us/police-department/permits-a-licenses/hunting-and-shooting-permit

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Kory Lasker September 20, 2012 at 08:08 PM
A deer ran into the side(!) of my van on Settler's Ridge by Dancing Waters while going 30mph this June. My wife was driving and she never even saw the deer. She had no idea what had happened other than hearing a "whump".
Eric Berg September 20, 2012 at 08:12 PM
I've almost run into one on my bike going through Carver Park. I'm not sure who wins that collision.
Michelle Scheuermann September 20, 2012 at 09:40 PM
@Kory - that was exactly the spot where I almost ran into two smaller does last week! They just love bouncing from one addition of Dancing Waters to the other. What do they feed them in DW?? @Eric - I can't imagine rolling down a corner and boom! There's a deer. I'd probably fall off my bike.
Kris Janisch September 20, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Why didn't you just jump the deer Eric?
Eric Berg September 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Kris, the move is a "bunny-hop", not a "deer-hop" :-). ...although to be honest, with my skill level, it's more like a "mouse-hop" and, even so, the mouse would be pleading with a higher power. (Do mice even HAVE higher powers? Does Patch have an animal religion blogger? I may have to come up with a psuedonym and become Patch's animal religion blogger!) Seriously, I didn't have much of a chance to react. It was turn-the-corner-HELLO?-swerve-hey-that-was-a-deer. Not like when I was climbing the little incline near the Ramsey County jail/workhouse and had a fox jogging next to me. Kept looking at me as if to say, "Is that all the faster you go?"
Kris Janisch September 21, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Ha! Pretty good Eric. And you are now officially the Woodbury Patch Animal Religion Blogger. Have at it! (Cool story about the fox.)

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